How to Write the Most Important 50 Characters of Your Email
No matter how great your marketing email is, if you don’t entice subscribers to open it, you won’t benefit from the effort. That’s why your email subject line is so important. Those quick little phrases or sentences have the power to help subscribers decide whether they want to read what you have to say.
If you have great marketing emails but still want to improve your open rates, there are methods you can use to spruce up your subject lines to better grab people’s attention. In this article, you’ll learn how to write enticing, compelling email subject lines that are more likely to get your emails opened and read.
Understand the importance of your subject line.
The content of your marketing email is, of course, important. But subject lines are part of each and every email, and since they’re usually the first part that subscribers see, they may be the most important.
Your subject line has the ability to get people’s attention and give them a taste of what’s included in your email. The wrong subject line could turn people off, bore them, or cause them to overlook your email altogether. But the right one can entice them to keep reading; once you have their attention, you can share your actual message with subscribers to get them to support your business.
Marketing emails can be powerful, but they’re only as powerful as the people who read them. That’s why you need great email subject lines.
Have a goal in mind.
In general, the goal for each of your email subject lines should be to get people to open and read your emails, but you can (and should) get more specific if you want to accomplish that main goal.
For instance, you may choose to try to get people’s attention by being informative. Pique their curiosity, or shock or surprise them with some new information. Be clear about what you want your email subject lines to accomplish and how you’re going to do it. That should give you a better chance of actually accomplishing your goals as opposed to just hoping for the best.
Keep it simple and short.
If your subject line is so long that readers can’t get through it without losing focus, it doesn’t bode well.
Generally speaking, if you stick to 50 characters or less, subscribers should be able to quickly get an idea of what they can get out of reading your email. Sometimes even shorter, snappier titles can get a message across better. Your goal should be to use as few characters as necessary in order to provide a message of value to your readers.
Discover Trailhead and get best practices to use when designing and sending an email.
Write the right subject line for your subscribers.
Just because you have to be short doesn’t mean you have to be vague. Your subject line should include keywords that very clearly tell your audience what the email is about. You don’t have to give the whole thing away, but let readers know what they can get out of reading your email, rather than just offering a general subject area.
Additionally, the more specific you are, the more likely you are to get your message in front of the right people. For example, saying, “Double your leads in two weeks” is much more compelling — and thus more likely to get people to open an email — than, “Improve your business fast.”
You can get even more specific by personalizing your email subject lines. If you collect first names in your sign-up forms, you can address people by name in subject lines to really grab their attention.
Personalization extends beyond using a subscriber’s name: Segment your email subscriber list to make sure your readers only get the content that is most relevant to them. For example, notate who signed up for your list when you were giving away a free item, then make sure those subscribers are on a list to receive updates about other giveaway promotions. Keep your lists specific so you know what certain subscribers are most likely to be interested in so you can increase the likelihood that they’ll want to actually open and read your emails.
Catch their eye.
Sometimes, even if your subject line is compelling, people may pass over it because they have so much in their inbox — it all starts to blend together. But you can make your email subject lines stand out visually through the use of emojis and other symbols.
It may seem like a small thing, but studies show that color can have a big impact on how people view emails and the feelings they get from reading them. And since a simple subject line doesn’t offer much opportunity for visual customization and media, those little emojis have the ability to make a big difference.
Email marketing should be an outlet for you to create relationships with customers and potential customers. That means it should be a two-way conversation.
Ask a question in your email subject line and involve your subscribers in the conversation. They could be more likely to care about what you have to say when they feel listened to. Subject lines that include questions can quickly give the impression that the content of your email relates to them. And if they know they can benefit from maintaining a relationship with your brand through email, they’ll be more likely to take in your messages.
Make it urgent.
Putting a specific timeframe on your email subject lines can also improve your open rates. While some subscribers may skip over or put off reading certain marketing emails right away, if you alert them in your subject line that your message is time-sensitive, it could increase the likelihood that they’ll open your message before they forget about it or it gets pushed to the bottom of a long line of unread messages.
Consider adding phrases like “limited time offer,” “ending soon,” or “today only” to make sure readers understand the importance of opening your emails now, rather than later. Don’t misuse this strategy, but if something truly is time-sensitive, tell your subscribers in the subject line so they know to read the message right away.
Include a call to action.
What do you want people to do upon reading your emails? More specifically, what do you want them to do upon reading your subject lines — beyond opening the email?
Once you determine your goal, the easiest way to get subscribers to do what you want is simply to ask them. If you want them to open your email to see the details about your company’s latest promotion, you could say something like, “Click to take advantage of our latest offer just for subscribers,” or, “See how easy it is to save with our latest promotion.”
Subject lines like these tell readers quickly and succinctly what the purpose of your email is before they even open it. The people on your subscription list who are interested in your offer are probably going to want to read your emails after seeing those subject lines.
Track what works.
There are plenty of ways to write successful email subject lines, and different methods will work better for different businesses. To get an idea of which methods work best for your specific business and email subscribers, you need to keep track of what works best for your campaigns.
There are plenty of tools available through email marketing platforms, including Persado. These tools can give you insights and analytics about your emails and their open rates so you can determine best practices. For example, you may choose to try out a couple of different subject lines for your emails. Maybe you ask a question in one, personalize one with subscribers’ names, and put a specific timeframe on another, then conduct A/B testing to find out which performed best.
After you’ve sent out each of those campaigns, you can go back and look at which ones got the highest open rates and engagement. If you notice certain trends that stand out when you use different types of email subject lines, then you may be able to uncover which types resonate most with your subscribers. With proper tracking and metrics, you no longer have to guess about what works, and your well-written email subject lines and improved open rates will be the result.
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